It’s every cat owner’s nightmare. A sullen looking man, knocking on the door of your house to deliver some bad news. “I’m so sorry,” he says, “I think I’ve just run over your cat.”
My priority is always the safety of the animals in my care, but keeping cats safe is an age old problem. By their nature, they’re explorers and hunters. Cats can disappear all day and we likely won’t think little of it. It’s only when there has been some substantial break in the usual routine that we start to get worried.
What can we do as cat owners to minimize the risk to our pets? Here are a few things you might want to try this spring.
Dangers Outside The Home
But perhaps the most dangers lurk outside the home. Cats tend to be more active at night. Historically, this is when they would have caught their prey. But in the modern world, with cars, this is a real danger. The problem is that cats’ eyes do not adjust as rapidly as ours to changes in lighting. That means that they can easily be dazzled.
One solution is to time their meals to coincide with the rush hour. But this is only a partial solution. Cat Cubbys offer the best of both worlds. Obviously, you want your cat to be able to explore the world, but at the same time, you can’t abide the thought of them being out on the streets. Cubbies can be a way for both you and your cat to get what you want.
Dangers At Home
Just like people, cats are susceptible to poisoning by everyday substances in the household. With toddlers, you only have to keep them away from the dangerous stuff until they’re old enough to understand that it’s dangerous. But cat’s will never understand.
Imagine the cat is a baby and you’ll soon get an idea of what’s involved. You need to move all poisonous substances out of their reach. Remember, with cats, height is not an advantage. Perhaps you have a cupboard you can lock everything in.
Often it’s the stuff you’d usually keep in the shed that is the problem. Weed killers are notoriously deadly, as well as antifreeze. But also, make sure you’re not leaving any type of bait out in the open. A curious or hungry cat might try to eat some slug bait, which contains toxic chemicals like metaldehyde.
Another source of risk for cats is plants. Few people know that lilies are deadly to cats. But there have been instances in which a cat has died from just coming into contact with the plant, let alone eating it. If you like to keep plants indoors or in your garden, this is one to avoid. You can find a comprehensive list of plants that cats must avoid at www.icatcare.org.
Finally, electrical appliances are a risk. Often when cats feel threatened or scared they can retreat to the cosy areas offered by appliances. Nobody wants to find their cat stuck in the washing machine, so it’s worth blocking this area off if you can.